Christmas Recap

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So, the holiday season is officially over. It’s back to work today.

I’m actually kind of happy to get back to some sort of normalcy, but it’s been an inordinately good holiday season this year. Often I find that there’s so much going on, and so many people around that it’s more work than it is fun to make it all happen, but this year was great. There was still a ton of people and a lot going on, but I felt like I had moments to take it all in and breathe.

I also probably ate my body weight in cookies, but whatever. I got some yoga class passes, so I figure I’m good to go. Intuitive eating, right? I did try a bunch of new recipes that I’m really excited to tweak and photograph to put up on here, so we’ll call all the eating research.

The only thing that was really bringing me down was knowing that this was Jack’s last Christmas with us. He’s a little trooper, and he’s being doing really well considering he has stage 4 kidney disease, but it’s clear he’s getting thinner and weaker. We’re taking him back to the vet for them to have another look at him, but I know what they’ll say – the disease is progressing, and the medication will help make him comfortable (not nauseous etc.) but eventually his quality of life will suffer enough that we’ll have to make a hard decision. Still, he sleeps in his basket in front of the fire, and he got to take an end-of-life trip to Kicking Horse with us, where he sniffed around the condo we rented and then settled into a pile of Craig and my clothes for a week of napping. I’m still loving him with all my might, and he’s still the best cat ever.

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Other than that, Christmas was a fairly normal one for us as a family. Craig (my boo) was with his family in Ontario, so I missed him, but I still got to have three Christmases because of my cray-cray family. Also, my step-dad and my step-siblings were here, so that was nice. We did our big dinner and the present exchange on Christmas eve. We all draw one person to buy a present for, and then we all buy little stocking stuffers for everyone, so it’s not as obscene as when we were kids. Still, I got a down-alternative duvet that I’ve been wanting for ages, a yoga mat bag, an Angela & Roi bag, and a whole ton of other great things. I like giving gifts better than I like receiving them, but still. It’s nice to get all the treats you don’t normally buy for yourself. The most hilarious gift I got was from my sister – she bought me 20 boxes of Earth Balance mac and cheese. I’ve only tried one box so far, and it was so awful that it was funny. I’m hoping that it just didn’t work out with the coconut milk I used (although coconut milk doesn’t really have any flavour on its own.) Still, getting a big box of what is essentially vegan Kraft Dinner that she had to buy and have shipped to my Dad’s place in Texas and then brought here because it’s not sold in Canada yet was great. I totally lost it when I opened it. I think I might have scared some people.

On Christmas eve we had a veritable feast. I put a pic of my plate up on Instagram because I had it piled up so high. We had tofu croquettes with cranberry sauce (recipe to come), mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, green beans with a mustard glaze, traditional Danish pickled cabbage, carrots and parsnips… and probably more I’m forgetting. For dessert we had rice pudding (recipe to come) with cherry sauce (also Danish and traditional). It was amazing. We barely made it through the presents everyone was so sleepy after a day of cooking and eating.

2015-01-05 09.12.35 pmChristmas morning is actually my favourite time. It’s the most low-key in our family. Everyone comes over, and we all sit around in our pyjamas eating muffins made that morning (recipe to come) and mandarin oranges, and drinking tea. We open our stockings, going around in a circle opening one thing at a time so we can all see what everyone got and draw it out. We even wrap all the stocking stuffers. The picture at the top of this post is actually the wreckage after we opened our stockings. We all like to chuck the paper from the living room to the back door. I took a couple in the face, but it’s a good time.

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After that we ate brunch, which was a really delicious vegan baked frittata of sorts. I want to workshop the recipe a little (and also we didn’t write it down as we winged it), but eventually I’ll get that one up on here too because it’s the first tofu-based savoury vegan breakfast that I’ve actually liked. Normally I find them to be a letdown.

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And that’s it! We headed out (10 of us) to Golden/Kicking Horse for a week of skiing and chilling. I’ve just loved my time relaxing and being with family, and I’ll be sad to say goodbye as they all head out. Still, it’s 2015, and I have a good feeling about this year. There’s a little magic in the air, and anything could happen!

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